South Africa


Hemp permit process to litmus test cannabis sector inclusivity

marijuana leaf

Small-holder farmers meant to benefit from South Africa’s new cannabis dispensation to unlock a potentially huge economic sector may be left out in the cold because of stringent regulatory requirements. 

At the end of October, the Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development Department announced the opening of applications for hemp cultivation permits, a move welcomed by 

organisations that have been waiting to kick-start this new economic sector. This followed the declaration of hemp as an agricultural crop under the Plant Improvement Act, which allows its importation, exportation, cultivation, sale and research.


Updated cannabis rules proposed for South Africa – including dealing with age limits and driving

marijuana plant

The Department of Health has backed the introduction of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill but warned that some health and safety issues will need to be addressed.

Presenting to parliament on Tuesday (24 August), the department said that the legal decision to decriminalise cannabis for private use is correct.

It said it is not appropriate from a human rights perspective to lock up people who use cannabis, give them a criminal record and waste state resources.

However, it said that the proposed draft Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill does not go far enough in addressing concerns around children, second-hand smoke and the impact on road users.


Cannabis Firm Plans South Africa IPO, Magic Mushroom Expansion

marijuana facility

Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical Ltd. is considering an initial public offering in the next 12 months after becoming the first South African company to win the right to grow, process and package cannabis products.

The firm, named after the psychoactive substance in magic mushrooms, received the required certification from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. It will now be able to produce marijuana for sale to consumers around the world, founder and Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Theron said in an interview.


Cannabis Clubs in South Africa Remain in Legal Limbo

Like Spain right now, cannabis clubs in South Africa are a hot topic. Not only are they flourishing, despite their uncertain legal status, but advocates are calling for clarity as the country begins to get ready for 2023.

How fast the legality of the clubs will change is uncertain, but this issue is clearly on the agenda of reform activists if not the nascent industry beyond that.


Africa Needs Cannabis to Spark Economic Growth

In April 2018, Zimbabwe became the second African country to legalize cannabis for medical and scientific use. It joined a small group of pioneering African countries, the bulk of them in southern Africa, that have in recent years commercialized the crop or made great strides in that direction.


The South Africa Cannabis Struggle: Free At Last…Or At Least in 2023?

For those who have witnessed epic struggles over civil rights where they intersect with cannabis, the story in South Africa so far has been one of the most dramatic in the world.

Starting with this fact. Cannabis, everywhere, as of the early part of the twentieth century was connected, somehow, with an appalling level of exploitation based on race. South Africa, sadly, however, was one of the most fiercely fought battlegrounds, and for a number of reasons – all of which were geopolitical rather than scientific in nature.


Two South African students develop high-tech cannabis growing technique

With the laws about cannabis use and sale continuing to change, two South African students are busy finding new and more efficient ways to grow the controversial plant.


In South Africa, cannabis can still not be cultivated or sold commercially. There is a lot of hope for a future cannabis industry to become transformative.


There are many examples worldwide of countries that have legalised commercial growth and sale of cannabis. This based on the number of jobs and money it has injected into their respective economies.


Several Nations Could Legalize Adult Use Cannabis In 2021—Which Could Be Next?

hemp field of plants

Last year came close to seeing two nations pass adult use cannabis laws. Ultimately, both efforts fell short. New Zealand saw its cannabis referendum rejected by voters in November, losing by a 51.1% to 48.8% margin. In Mexico, Congress was given its third extension to pass its law—pushing a decision into 2021. 

While disappointing, one of the two nations remains on the cusp of legalization, as is a country pivotal in the advancement of cannabis research and technology. Other nations could take action in 2021, although their prospects appear more likely to occur in the coming years. 


Which Country Will Legalize Cannabis Next?

little ball painted like the earth

It may be hard to pinpoint the exact time when cannabis will be legalized worldwide, but it’s a safe bet that eventually, most, if not all of the planet, will end cannabis prohibition.

In theory, there could always be a limited amount of countries that stay on the wrong side of history for a very long time. However, most countries will presumably legalize at some point.

Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy wherever it exists, and that, combined with the economic benefits of a vibrant cannabis industry, is going to influence lawmakers around the globe to step up and end prohibition in their jurisdictions.


What history teaches us about shaping South Africa’s new cannabis laws

Man holding sign that says "dagga is my right"

South African cannabis policy is currently at a crossroads. In 2018, the Constitutional Court effectively decriminalized private cannabis use. Since then, the government has continued to grapple with how to regulate this plant and its products, locally called ‘dagga’.


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